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By Deardra Shuler
Mo'Nique: Bountiful Ladies Have a F.A.T. Chance On Oxygen
Photo: Courtesy of Oxygen Media
Some viewers will get a big gulp of Oxygen, the Oxygen Network that is, when they tune into the second season of Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance. A special airing premieres July 2006. Recently the network traveled to Miami, Baltimore, Seattle, and Los Angeles as part of a national casting call in search of contestants for the show. The last casting call will be in New York on Monday, March 20th from 10a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Roseland Ballroom, located at 239 West 52nd Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue) where 10 bountiful, curvaceous, and voluptuous women will be selected to appear on Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance. So, ladies, here’s your opportunity to show the world about the big and beautiful by vying for the title of Miss F.A.T. (Fabulous and Thick) Chance.
The eligibility requirements are: contestant must be 21 years or older, size 14 and upwards, a citizen of the United States, and be in excellent physical and mental health. The winner wins a $50,000.00 cash prize. Following the multi-city casting call, the ten women who are selected will be flown to Los Angeles where they will participate in an enhanced version of “Beauty Boot Camp,” a series of mind and body training exercises that focus on enhancing beauty and building confidence. The contestants will live together in Los Angeles where they will be mentored by a life coach and eventually be judged by a panel of experts and celebrity judges who will evaluate them on poise, personality, beauty, and style.
“Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance is a fat girls chance to shine,” claims Mo’Nique. “It is a beauty pageant for big girls. It’s our Miss America. It’s our Miss World. It is a beauty pageant for US big girls. The difference between Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance and any other beauty pageant or reality show is that it’s filled with love but there can only be one winner. It’s not really a competition, the women, work together for the greater cause, though only one can win the crown. However, these women will develop friendships that last a lifetime. Fat girls know the struggle of being a fat girl in this society. They have experienced the painful things that are said to us and about us, so when we all comes together, we don’t want to put more pain on one another,” remarked the star. “Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance is about loving one another and building up each other’s confidence and saying it’s OK to be me even if I am fat. There is a difference between being obese and fat and there is a difference in being healthy and unhealthy. Some people say how can you encourage women to be fat? I am not encouraging anyone to be fat but I am saying love the body you are in” explained the charming comedienne who began her career on a dare from her brother.
Mo’Nique’s first TV break was as Nikki Parker on The Parkers, which ran 5 years on the UPN network and is now in syndication. She won several awards, including four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. “The Parkers was my introduction to Hollywood. Larry Little saw a comedy tape of mine and said if I could act, I could get my own show which turned out to be The Parkers,” recalled Mo’Nique. Her film roles include: “Domino,” “Shadowboxer,” ( to be released May 2006),“Irish Jam”,” Soul Plane”, “Three Strikes,” “Baby Boy,” “Two Can Play That Game,” “Hair Show,” “Phat Girls” (Due in theaters April 7, 2006) and Showtimes “Good Fences.” She was in “The “Queens of Comedy,” which aired on Showtime Network, toured the country as a live comedy concert under the same name, and released an album under the same title, earning a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Comedy Album.
“Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 and many of the stars of yesteryear wore a size 12. These days, Hollywood is promoting size 0. The question is then -- who got around the board table and decided that women must be a size 0 and that size 14 is no longer beautiful,” remarked the big and beautiful Mo’Nique. “I am not sure what image Hollywood is trying to sell, I’m just not willing to buy what they are selling. The media runs the world. Hollywood and the fashion world set the standard for what you wear, what you smell like and even what you think.” said Mo’Nique, the F.A.T. Chance host, creator, and executive producer. Mo’Nique originally shopped her concept to the various networks. They were uninterested. However, network cable saw its potential. As a cable network owned and operated by women, Oxygen realized most American women are not a size 0. In fact, Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance was the highest rated original program in the network’s history. The show pulled in 3.8 million viewers when it originally premiered. “Not only fat women watched the premiere, non-fat people watched it too. Everybody wants to feel beautiful. It’s about loving yourself. I tell women dedicate an hour to ‘you’ each day; go swimming, exercise, do something for yourself” said the voluptuous host of Showtime at the Apollo.
“After Steve Harvey left Showtime At The Apollo, I approached the Suttons but they felt a woman couldn’t host the show. After Suzanne dePasse became executive producer she offered me the host spot. So, I guess it was meant to be,” said the author of “Skinny Women Are Evil.”
“Skinny Women Are Evil because they’re hungry,” chuckled Mo’Nique about her book. “My book is the fat girl’s bible and a skinny woman’s warning. My book says feel good in your own skin,” said the size 20, entertainer, and recent mother of 5 month old twins.
Mo’Nique is a busy lady these days. “I live by my own rules. I’m going to ride my bus until the wheels fall off. I’ve no regrets and make no apologies for being Mo’Nique,” stated the confident performer.
For info on Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance see http://www.1monique.com/
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